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Haiti's Health Crises Will Continue

Haiti's Health Crises Will Continue

While doctors and aid organizations scramble to cope with the immediate needs of those severely injured by Haiti's devastating earthquake, longer-term public-health problems will likely remain.

Warren Johnson, an infectious-disease specialist at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York, serves on the board of Gheskio, an AIDS treatment center based out of Port-au-Prince. Both of the center's two main facilities sustained severe damage in the quake, he says. With roads nearly impassable, Gheskio patients with HIV diesease and TB may not be able to get their medicine, he fears.

"We treat 500 people with tuberculosis at Gheskio," says Johnson. "Most of them also have AIDS. Now they don't have food, they don't have water, they don't have TB medications."

Doctors Without Borders runs three health care facilities in Port-au-Prince; all now are out of commission. The international humanitarian agency is treating patients in temporary outdoor areas, but the "best we can offer is first-aid care and stabilization," says its Haiti project manager.

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